U.S. consumer confidence sees most recent gains reversed
Washington, DC, December 2, 2021 — Days after news about the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus broke, the Ipsos-Forbes Advisor U.S. Consumer Confidence Tracker is showing a drop of 1.8 points from two weeks ago and reading at 55.9. The Investment sub-index shows an even steeper decline of 3.6 points.
This week’s survey also finds Americans to be slightly less comfortable making both major purchases and other household purchases. While 66% anticipate that inflation will continue to rise, only 15% expect their standard of living will decline over the next year.
Read the full story from Forbes Advisor here.
Learn more about the Ipsos Global Consumer Confidence Index and sub-indices via the interactive portal, Ipsos Consolidated Economic Indicators (IpsosGlobalIndicators.com) including graphic comparisons, trended data and all the questions on which they are based.
1. Scoring at 55.9, the latest Overall Consumer Confidence has fallen by 1.8 points from two weeks ago.
- The Overall Confidence Index is currently 2.2 points above the pandemic average, and 4.2 points below where it stood in early March 2020, prior to the first lockdowns (60.1).
2. The Current sub-index, indicative of perceptions about the current economic environment, sees its recent gain reversed as it fell by 2.8 points from two weeks ago. The Investment sub-index sees a sharper decline of 3.6 points. Both hold at or above the pandemic average. Meanwhile, the Expectations sub-index is mostly unchanged, just 0.5 points lower than it was two weeks ago.
3. Americans' sentiment about the jobs market is slightly softer than it was two weeks ago as the overall Jobs sub-index fell by 1.3 points. However, it remains stronger than both its 20-year average and its pandemic average by nearly 8 points.
- The proportion of Americans who say they are more confident in their job security now compared to 6 months ago is at 57%, down 3 points from two weeks ago.
- The proportion of Americans reporting they, a family member, or a personal acquaintance lost their job in the past six months due to economic conditions is at 31%, up 1 point from two weeks ago.
- In addition, 36% say it’s likely they, a family member, or a personal acquaintance will lose their job in the next six months due to economic conditions, unchanged from two weeks ago.
4. A majority (66%) believe that inflation, taxes (59%), and everyday expenses (55%) will continue to go up over the next year. However, 63% believe that their standard of living will stay approximately the same and another 22% say that it will go up.
5. Comfort with making major and other household purchases relative to six months ago declines.
- 43% say they are more comfortable making major purchases compared to six months ago, down 5 points from two weeks prior.
49% say they are more comfortable making other household purchases compared to six months ago, down 3 points from two weeks earlier.
The data used for the Consumer Confidence index and sub-indices is based on the following questions:
- Now, thinking about our economic situation, how would you describe the current economic situation in the U.S.? Is it… very good, somewhat good, somewhat bad or very bad?
- Rate the current state of the economy in your local area using a scale from 1 to 7, where 7 means a very strong economy today and 1 means a very weak economy.
- Looking ahead six months from now, do you expect the economy in your local area to be much stronger, somewhat stronger, about the same, somewhat weaker, or much weaker than it is now?
- Rate your current financial situation, using a scale from 1 to 7, where 7 means your personal financial situation is very strong today and 1 means it is very weak
- Looking ahead six months from now, do you expect your personal financial situation to be much stronger, somewhat stronger, about the same, somewhat weaker, or much weaker than it is now?
- Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less comfortable making a major purchase, like a home or car?
- Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less comfortable making other household purchases?
- Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less confident about job security for yourself, your family and other people you know personally?
- Compared to 6 months ago, are you NOW more or less confident of your ability to invest in the future, including your ability to save money for your retirement or your children’s education?
- Thinking of the last 6 months, have you, someone in your family or someone else you know personally lost their job as a result of economic conditions?
- Now look ahead at the next six months. How likely is it that you, someone in your family or someone else you know personally will lose their job in the next six months as a result of economic conditions?
Q. Over the next year, do you think each of the following will go up, go down, or stay about the same?
- The rate of inflation
- The taxes you pay
- The amount you pay on monthly bills and other regular expenses
- Mortgage interest rates
- The number of unemployed people in this country
- Your household income (e.g. wages, pensions, benefits, investments, etc.)
- Your own standard of living
About the Study
These findings are based on data from an Ipsos survey conducted November 30-December 1, 2021 with a sample of 964 adults aged 18-74 from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii who were interviewed online in English.
The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panel, partner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2016 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.
Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect. For n=964, DEFF=1.5 and adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-5.1 percentage points.
Findings from March 2010 to early March 2020 are based on data from Refinitiv /Ipsos’ Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI) collected in a monthly survey on Ipsos’ Global Advisor online survey platform with the same questions. For the PCSI survey, Ipsos interviews a total of 1,000+ U.S. adults aged 18-74. The Refinitiv/Ipsos Primary Consumer Sentiment Index (PCSI), ongoing since 2010, is a monthly survey of consumer attitudes on the current and future state of local economies, personal finance situations, savings, and confidence to make large investments. The PCSI metrics reported each month consist of a “Primary Index” based on 10 questions available upon request and of several “sub-indices” each based on a subset of these 10 questions. Those sub-indices include a Current Index, an Expectations Index, an Investment Index, and a Jobs Index.
Findings for January 2002- February 2010 are based on data from the RBC CASH Index, a monthly telephone survey of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older conducted by Ipsos with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.
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